Left – Matt Whitty, Annabelle Tudor, Tammy Weller, Daniel Cosgrove, Rob Mills, Zenya Carmellotti, Keith Brockett, Ryan Hawke, Olivia Charalambous. Cover – Gareth Isaac, Annabelle Tudor, Matt Whitty, Eva Seymour, Ryan Hawke, Zenya Carmellotti, Keith Brockett, Olivia Charalambous, Tammy Weller, Daniel Cosgrove. Photos – Ben Fon
I have a confession to make. I’m a Puff.
And like many Puffs we have been pushed to the outskirts of society, ostracized for our love of plants and Badger’s. But no more! Puffs the play is here to change all that and show the world how loveable, brave and clever Puffs are!
Based on a series of wizarding books and films beloved the world over, Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic looks at the untold stories of the Harry Potter universe, the unsung and unheard of hero’s that make up every great adventure.
Our protagonist is Wayne (Ryan Hawke) an adorable Aussie, adopted by his uncle and with no knowledge of his wizarding ancestry, that is until he receives his letter on his 11th birthday accepting him into a certain school of witchcraft and wizardry. Once there, Wayne quickly makes friends with Oliver (Keith Brocket) and Megan (Eva Seymour) and the alternate trio of the story is established. Certain he is destined for greatness, Wayne’s life continually intertwines with Harry Potter as one boy becomes a hero and the other one, well he’s a Puff.
While Puffs is a hilarious spoof of the Harry Potter books and films, with endless in-jokes and references to both, it also shows how important each person is to their own story and also to the bigger narrative happening around them. Puffs shoes that we may not all be the great hero, but that doesn’t deny our greatness.
Featuring an incredible ensemble, who were able to transform between characters mid scene seamlessly. Each performer bounced between heroes and villains, students and teachers, Puffs and Braves, Snakes and Smarts keeping up with the madcap pace of writer Matt Cox’s script.
Narrated by Gareth Issac, he brought a sense of calm into the outrageous world, Puffs features the star power of Rob Mills as the coolest of the Puffs, Cedric. Mills is delightful as the rock star of the Puffs and after his untimely end, returns as Lord Voldemort (that’s right I said it!) in a campy take on “he that shall not be named.”
Puffs is a fresh take on an old favourite, it feels new and alive and like every night is different, the script is open to interpretation and it seems the actors have the freedom for improvise throughout. Perhaps my favourite moment was Daniel Cosgrove’s rant mid show as the disgruntled sports coach, which left the cast and myself in tears of hilarity.
Puffs is the feel-good comedy you have been looking for, and is for anyone who is a fan of Harry Potter, or better yet, can’t stand the guy who steals all the glory.
Puffs are well known to have the biggest hearts of any house, and as Dumbledore so often tells us, love is the greatest magic there is. If so, the Puffs may just be the most powerful house in all of the Harry Potter Universe.
TEG Live presents
Puffs or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
by Matt Cox
Director Kristin McCarthy Parker
Venue: Alex Theatre | Level 1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda VIC
Dates: until 29 July 2018
Recommended for ages 15+ (evening shows) and all ages (matinee performances). Puffs incorporates smoke/haze and strobe effects